Junya Ito ‘full of praise’ for overwhelming Lee Kang-in…”A ‘poison’ to PSG’s defense” Dribble breakthroughs + key passes, more than Mbappe’s
The performance of Junya Ito (30) was praised not only in France but also in Japan.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) defeated Reims 3-0 in the 12th round of the 2023-2024 French Ligue 1 season at the Stade Auguste Delon in Reims, France, at 1:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, led by a hat-trick from Mbappe.
PSG, unbeaten in seven league games (six wins, one draw), moved to 28 points (eight wins, three draws, one loss) and moved clear of OGC Nice (26 points) at the top of the table.
Reims remain in fourth place with 20 points (6W2D4L).
PSG found themselves under pressure from Reims after Mbappe’s early opener, but Gianluigi Donnarumma’s saves and Mbappe’s sheer determination sealed the win.
The game also attracted attention as a ‘small Korean-Japanese’ match.
PSG has Lee Kang-in and Reims has Japanese international striker Junya Ito.
Before the match, Ligue 1 showed great interest in the matchup between the two strikers by featuring them on the match poster.
Ito made his Ligue 1 debut last July when he joined Reims from Belgian side Hank.
At the time, it was the highest transfer fee for an Asian player in Ligue 1 history at €10 million (approximately KRW 14.2 billion).
However, Lee Kang-in’s move to PSG in August more than doubled the record to €22 million (approximately KRW 31 billion).
Ito settled in quickly, scoring six league goals and providing five assists in his debut season in Ligue 1, and has two goals and two assists in 11 appearances this season.
Lee has played around 77 minutes as a left-sided midfielder.
He worked diligently, covering a lot of ground from the flanks to the center, but he didn’t have much of a presence.
He had one shot on target, two key passes, and one successful cross, according to soccer stats site Footmob.
Prior to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) match against AC Milan, he had recorded three consecutive league points (two goals and one assist), but no attacking points were forthcoming.
FootMob gave him a 7.4 rating, the second-lowest among PSG starters.
Ito, who had scored in the previous game against Nantes, failed to find the back of the net for the second game in a row, but had two shots on goal, a whopping eight key passes, and the most successful dribbles (five) of any player on either side. 안전토토사이트
Mbappe, who also scored a hat-trick, had fewer dribbles (3) and key passes (1) than Ito.
Mbappe rattled the PSG net with a sharp shot early in the match, only to be denied by the offside flag for the position of his passing partner.
In the seventh minute, Mohamed Darami crossed from the left flank and Ito connected with a left-footed shot that rattled the net.
However, the assistant referee raised the offside flag and the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled Ito offside.
Other highlights included a number of penetrating passes that opened up shooting opportunities for teammates.
The Footmob gave Ito a 7.8 rating, the highest on the team.
Ito was the only Reims player with a rating in the 7s.
Japan’s Soccer Digest said, “Although Ito hasn’t scored a goal in two consecutive games, he was a threat against PSG,” adding, “He gave us hope that he could score in the next game.”
Maxifoot, a French football publication, added: “The Japanese international was like poison to the PSG defense.
Ito was always involved on the ball and created space with his technical moves.”
“He looked to have scored the equalizer, but it was ruled out for offside by Tarami.
He was the most threatening player for Reims, but he was not decisive enough.”
Lee and Ito will now return to their respective home countries to prepare for the second leg of Asia’s second round of qualifying for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026.
South Korea will face Singapore at the Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8 p.m. on Sept. 16 before taking on China at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center at 9 p.m. on Sept. 19.
Japan will face Myanmar at home before traveling to face Syria.